Southampton can ease their relegation fears with three points against Brighton at St Mary’s on Sunday but it appears as if Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side will be without Moussa Djenepo for the game against Graham Potter’s side.
Hasenhuttl suggested earlier this week that they are hopeful he will return to training this week and provide an alternative option against Brighton, so it seems clear that he won’t be fit enough to start, and therefore he might not be risked against the Seagulls.
Although the winger hasn’t had too much impact for Southampton in the final third this season, with one goal and no assists in 21 Premier League appearances, his overall contribution is clearly appreciated by the Austrian manager given his regularity of selection, and he has performed well in recent fixtures against Chelsea and Everton.
It is a shame that he looks unlikely to feature against Brighton in what is an important fixture for the Saints, but thankfully for Hasenhuttl, their injury woes have eased in recent weeks, and they still have the likes of Takumi Minamino, Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond available to play on the wing.
Incidentally, Djenepo’s first goal for the club came in a win against Brighton last season, and Hasenhuttl was full of praise for him after that game, saying: “He wasn’t on the pitch very long before he made the first goal – it’s fantastic for him.
“The fans will love him immediately, but don’t put too much pressure on him. He must learn a lot, especially against the ball, but I like this guy – he’s very positive.”
Hopefully Hasenhuttl doesn’t feel the need to risk Djenepo after he was forced off against the Citizens in midweek, as he could prove to be an important player for the rest of the season if he can stay fit, and rushing him back too early could lead to another setback for the Malian.